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Susan Lent

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Susan H. Lent represents clients before the DOT, other federal agencies and the U.S. Congress.Susan advises clients on federal, state and local procurement laws and other laws and regulations applicable to developers and operators of infrastructure projects, other recipients of federal funding and companies regulated by the DOT.

She also advises clients navigating the emerging legal, regulatory and contractual issues arising out of innovative technologies, including autonomous vehicles, focusing on regulatory compliance and managing liability.

Susan provides guidance on the funding, financing, and development of transportation and other infrastructure projects, representing clients before the:

  • DOT
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Congress.

Before joining Akin Gump, Susan served as counsel to the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and as counsel for investigations and oversight to the House Committee on Transportation.

Project Development and Compliance:

  • Susan assists public sector entities in securing federal funds and obtaining federal and other financing, and she advises them regarding compliance with the laws and regulations that apply to federally funded projects, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Buy America Act and procurement requirements.
  • Susan has experience with a wide range of infrastructure projects, including toll road, highway, port, freight, airport, intermodal, rail transit, transit joint development, water infrastructure, economic development and social infrastructure projects.
  • Her substantive knowledge and government experience allow Susan to provide informed and comprehensive representation to her clients as they work to achieve their objectives before Congress and navigate the project approval process with relevant federal departments and agencies.
  • Susan also advises private sector companies on risks associated with contracting opportunities and on compliance with a range of federal requirements associated with federally funded contracts, including those required by Buy America and civil rights laws and the Davis Bacon, False Claims and Americans with Disabilities Acts.

Public Private Partnerships:

  • Susan is experienced in representing the private and public sectors in undertaking a broad range of public-private partnerships (P3). Her experience includes:
    • Drafting solicitation documents for governmental entities.
    • Advising government entities regarding evaluation of P3 opportunities, including value for money analyses and procurement approaches.
    • Undertaking due diligence for private sector entities evaluating P3 opportunities, including reviewing solicitations; drafting requests for clarification; and advising clients regarding legal, regulatory and political risk.
    • Representing clients in enforcement actions related to violating federal regulations regarding receipt of federal funding or failure to comply with regulatory requirements.
    • Assisting with evaluating and pursuing low-cost U.S. financing from the DOT.
      Advising on state and local procurement laws.
    • Representing clients in bid protests over procurement procedures and decisions.
      Advising on transit-oriented development and joint development agreements.
      Advising on outsourcing of transit operations, including procurement and labor requirements.
    • Drafting and negotiating agreements for the deployment of emerging technologies and advising regarding risk management and regulatory compliance in connection with such deployment.

Public Transportation

  • Susan provides comprehensive advice and counsel to public transit agencies and the companies doing business with them. She helps clients navigate the legislative and regulatory landscape and advocates on their behalf before Congress and the FTA. Having served as counsel to the subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure with jurisdiction over public transportation, Susan is experienced with public transportation laws and policies, and she can serve as an effective advocate for client interests before the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over public transportation as well as before the DOT and FTA.
  • Susan advises clients undertaking Capital Investment Grant projects, including assisting them with advancing projects through the FTA evaluation and approval process. She also helps clients with joint development projects and transit-oriented development, including valuation of property and securing TIFIA financing for projects.
  • She provides advice regarding compliance with Section 13 (c) of the Federal Transit Act, the Buy America Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and Charter Bus and Tripper service requirements. Susan has a strong background in procurement and government contracts, and she also advises transit agencies and contractors regarding procurement procedures. She drafts procurement documents and contracts and represents clients in bid protests and contract disputes.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Susan represents clients in connection with compliance with laws and regulations governing automakers and equipment suppliers, including autonomous vehicles. She counsels clients with respect to laws, regulations and guidance affecting autonomous vehicles at the federal and state levels, and she assists with drafting and negotiating agreements that ensure compliance and manage risk with regard to operation of new vehicle technologies. She advises clients seeking to import vehicles that do not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards into the United States for testing and demonstration purposes.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Compliance (FMCSA):

  • Susan advises motor carriers on matters related to compliance with FMCSA regulations. She represents clients in enforcement matters before the FMCSA, pursues exemptions from the regulations for clients, and drafts requests for advisory opinions and comments on rulemakings. She is experienced with the DOT registration, hours of service, and drug and alcohol testing requirements, among others.

Airports and Aviation:

  • Susan represents airports, airlines, airport developers, concessionaires and fixed-base operators. She assists airports in securing funds under the Airport Improvement Program and implementing projects once funds are secured.
  • She advises on the distribution of funds under the discretionary and entitlements programs and counsels clients on passenger facilities charges, grant assurances, letters of intent and benefit cost analyses.
  • Susan has advised public and private sector clients seeking to acquire, develop or operate airports regarding rules on revenue-producing aspects of airports and other federal requirements, including grant assurance requirements. She advises on airport concession contracts and contracts to finance and operate airports. Susan also represents airlines on a host of policy and regulatory issues.

Representative Work:

  • Advising the city of Houston on a range of issues involving development and operations, including securing funding and approvals after Hurricane Harvey.
  • Assisted Fort Lauderdale in securing funding and approvals for its federal courthouse.
  • Assisting the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority on matters associated with proposals to extend its light rail system.
  • Advising the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority on regulatory issues associated with proposed system redesign.
  • Representing clients that are seeking exemptions from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations governing Hours of Service.
  • Advised Keolis, a global provider of transportation services, in connection with its participation in a pilot project sponsored by AAA to operate an autonomous shuttle in the city of Law Vegas. The self-driving shuttle is the largest self-driving pilot project in the United States to operate in live traffic.
  • Assisting a client who is seeking authority to test autonomous vehicles on public roads.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a client from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after an audit of the Port Security Grant.
  • Advise the Houston Airport System on a range of regulatory and policy matters.


  • Served as Counsel, Investigations and Oversight, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  • Served as a member of the transportation advisory committee for a presidential transition.
  • Acted as Counsel to the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.


  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School, 1986
  • B.A., Emory University, 1983

Bar Admissions:

  • District of Columbia


Rate : $$$

What types of cases Attorney Susan Lent & Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP can handle?
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP can handle cases related to laws concerning Energy & Environmental, Litigation, Administrative, Government, Transportation. We manually verify each attorney’s practice areas before approving their profiles and reviews on our website.
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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
1564, 1333 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, United States
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